When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013
1 June – 3 November 2013
“When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013” curated by Germano Celant in dialogue with Thomas Demand and Rem Koolhaas, in a surprising and novel remaking, reconstructs “Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form”, an exhibition conceived and organised by Harald Szeemann at the Bern Kunsthalle in 1969, which went down in history for the curator’s radical approach to exhibition practice, conceived as a linguistic medium.
To present, today, an exhibition from 1969 just as it was, maintaining its original visual and formal relations and links between the works, has posed a series of questions on the complexity and very meaning of the project, which has developed through a profound debate from various perspectives: the artistic, the architectural and the curatorial. It has been decided to graft the exhibition in its totality – walls, floors, installations and art objects, including their relative positions – onto the historical architectural and environmental structure of Ca’ Corner della Regina, thereby inserting – on a full-size scale – the modern rooms of the Kunsthalle, delimited by white wall surfaces, into the ancient frescoed and decorated halls of the Venetian palazzo.
It is, in fact, an exercise in “double occupancy”: in the same way that the spaces of the Kunsthalle were occupied by a generation of young revolutionary artists in 1969, taking the same approach, the richly decorated spaces of Ca’ Corner della Regina are in turn being invaded by the Kunsthalle’s twentieth-century rooms. The result is a literal and radical superposition of spaces that produces new and unexpected relationships: between the artworks themselves and between the artworks and the space they occupy.
The intention is to breathe new life into the exhibition process with which “When Attitudes Become Form” was staged, so as to avoid the necessity for photographs and films of the past event, and to be able to experience and analyse it literally, just as it was, even though it has been transported from the past to the present.
With regard to the content of the artworks and their reciprocal connections, following an in-depth research, conducted in close contact with the artists, their heirs and their foundations, and working with Glenn Phillips, curator at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles (GRI), which houses the Harald Szeemann Archive and Library, “When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013” will bring together the original works presented in Bern.
These have been loaned by important private collections and international museums, and have required site-specific interventions recreated directly or in association with the artists, plus a selection of photographs, videos, books, letters, ephemeral objects and other original materials relating to the 1969 show and its context. The exhibition will also include unpublished materials from the Szeemann archive generously loaned by the GRI, which is still working to catalog this vast collection.
The purpose is to revisit, with the same intensity and energy, the Post-Pop and Post-Minimalist Art research of the time, ranging from Process Art to Conceptual Art, Arte Povera and Land Art, that was developed internationally during the mid-1960s, but also to point up the contribution made by Harald Szeemann, a curator capable of thinking beyond the limitations fixed by critics’ labels and the theoretic associations of his time. Characterised by a new approach where everything was left to the liberating process of doing, where the viewer was not impeded by boundaries, protection systems, pedestals or perimeters, the exhibition became a dialectical field of encounter between the individual artists and the curator, between the event and the architecture: a place where the works formed links with each other, in a kind of continuously evolving organic weave.
Among the artists presented at the original exhibition were, to mention just a few, Carl Andre, Giovanni Anselmo, Richard Artschwager, Joseph Beuys, Alighiero Boetti, Hanne Darboven, Walter De Maria, Jan Dibbets, Michael Heizer, Eva Hesse, Jannis Kounellis, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Mario Merz, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Ryman, Sarkis, Richard Serra, Keith Sonnier, Lawrence Weiner and Gilberto Zorio.
A scientific volume will be published to coincide with “When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013”, which will include the complete collection of photographs, many previously unpublished, taken by photographers during the exhibition in Bern, together with contributions by internationally recognised historians, theoreticians, curators and critics (Pierre Bal Blanc, Claire Bishop, Benjamin Buchloh, Charles Esche, Boris Groys, Jens Hoffmann, Chus Martínez, Glenn Phillips, Christian Rattemeyer, Dieter Roelstraete, Anne Rorimer, Terry Smith, Mary Anne Staniszewski, Francesco Stocchi, Jan Verwoert).
Fondazione Prada, co-chaired by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli since 1995, is an institution dedicated to contemporary art and culture. Its cutting-edge exhibitions conceived in dialogue with major contemporary artists like Louise Bourgeois, Walter De Maria, Thomas Demand and John Baldessari, as well as other cultural activities related to cinema, philosophy, and architecture, have enjoyed a wide international consensus. Special international projects included Carsten Höller’s “Double Club” in London, the “Prada Transformer” in Seoul by OMA and Francesco Vezzoli’s “24h Museum” at the Palais d’Iéna in Paris. In 2011 the Fondazione Prada opened a new exhibition space in Venice, Ca’ Corner della Regina, an historic palazzo on the Grand Canal, which is going to be restored over the next years with the goal of offering a stimulating cultural program. A keynote of the architectural program is the Fondazione Prada’s new exhibition space in Milan designed by Rem Koolhaas, to be unveiled in 2015.
CA’ CORNER DELLA REGINA
Ca’ Corner della Regina is considered the first architectural example to introduce non-Baroque parameters as dominant themes, even if some elements of the prior style remain.
Built between 1724 and 1728 by Domenico Rossi for the Corner family of San Cassiano atop the ruins of the palazzo in which Caterina Corner—future queen of Cyprus—was born, it displays an architecture stylistically reminiscent of Baldassare Longhena’s nearby Ca’ Pesaro, the current venue of the Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna.
The building is modulated over three storeys and features two mezzanines between the ground floor and first floor. The façade is of Istrian stone, with rustication over the ground floor and mezzanine. The last descendant of the Corner family bequeathed the palazzo to Pope Pius VII.
In seguito fino al 1969 la dimora ospitò la congregazione dei Padri Cavanis e il Monte di Pietà, mentre dal 1975 al 2010 ha ospitato l’ASAC, Archivio Storico delle Arti Contemporanee. Il restauro, sostenuto dalla Fondazione Prada, per ora conservativo, è stato pianificato con gradualità in base alle direttive della Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici e Paesaggistici di Venezia e della Laguna, con l’affiancamento della Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.
The Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) led by Rem Koolhaas has been commissioned to design the intervention and transformation of an early 20th -century industrial site south of Milan to create new spaces for the Fondazione Prada. In connection to the realisation of the new spaces in Largo Isarco, the Fondazione Prada is planning to broaden its cultural perspective. The enriched course of research will be expressed through the expansion of the projects realised in a dialogue with artists, and in future collaborations with leading international museums, institutes for historical, modern and contemporary art, architecture and design, as well as through a series of partnerships for temporary exhibitions.
Calle de Ca' Corner
Santa Croce 2215
Fondazione Prada Press Kit
Press Releases 2013
- 2013_FP_02_IMG_WABF_1_installation view
- 2013_FP_03_IMG_WABF_2_installation view
- 2013_FP_04_IMG_WABF_3_installation view
Press Releases 2012
- 2012_FP_05_ENG_TSU_1 press release
- 2012_FP_04_ENG_TSU_Weserburg museum
Press Releases 2011
THE SMALL UTOPIA.
July 6 - November 25, 2012
The title of the exhibition, The Small Utopia. Ars Multiplicata, is a reference to the dream, handed down from the historic avant-gardes to the artists
of today, of achieving the democratic dissemination of art through a multiplication of the work of art as object, in order to favor a different perception and use of it from the aesthetic and social standpoint.
Covering a period of 75 years, from the beginning of the 20th century to 1975, the exhibition documents with over six hundred works, including multiples and prototypes, the transformation of the idea of uniqueness in art and in its perception, through the multiplication not just of the objects themselves but also of the different means used for its distribution, from artist’s books to magazines and from experimental cinema to radio.
This small utopia, born at the beginning of the 20th century out of the attempts by the Russian constructivists and productivists to work with objects of everyday use, such as
pottery, and the more individualistic aims of Marcel Duchamp, who reproduced his own works on a reduced scale and assembled them in his Boîte-en-valise, 1941 (three editions of which are presented here), put down deeper roots in the seventies, when the system of art began to spread, on the plane of information and communication, to all
levels of society.
An adventure in which all the principal movements became caught up, from Italian futurism to the Bauhaus, from neoplasticism to dada and surrealism, from nouveau réalisme to op art and Fluxus, culminating in the explosion in multiplication
triggered by pop art, promoter of a genuine “supermarket” of the art object, translated into book, magazine, can, film, clothing, record, dish, furniture, toy and many other forms.
In this sense the years from 1960 to 1975, with Warhol and Oldenburg, Beuys and certainly Fluxus, represented the climax of this attitude, as artists adopted the production and marketing techniques typical of consumer society. A blend of democratic aspiration and business that anticipated the kind of art merchandising now practiced by museums as well.
In view of the complexity of The Small Utopia, the broad span of time covered and the vast numbers of themes tackled, the Fondazione Prada delegated the investigation of some specific areas to the invaluable collaboration of international museums and experienced specialist curators, as had already been done at Ca’ Corner in 2011.
In particular, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has been entrusted with the documentation of Fluxus through the research of Christopher Cherix, while the Research Center for Artist’s Publications of the Museum Weserburg in Bremen and its director Anne Thurmann-Jajes have been given the responsibility for the section devoted to artist’s books and magazines as a paradigm of artistic interaction in the new forms of art in the sixties.
Among the various media, Antonio Somaini curates, with the collaboration of Marie Rebecchi, two rooms devoted to the history of the experimental film and the forays made by artists into the fields of vocal performance, recorded sound and radio broadcasting, while we can thank the expertise of Guy Schraenen for the detailed section devoted entirely to vinyl disks from the 1959 to 1975.
On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the first Fluxus festival in Europe (1962), Gianni Emilio Simonetti organizes the programming of Fluxus performances and concerts, repeated at intervals from September to November.
The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive publication in English, The Small Utopia. Ars Multiplicata, edited by Germano Celant, with an introduction by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli and numerous contributions from Beatriz Colomina, Elena Gigli, Charles Esche, Constance W. Glenn, Maria Gough, Magdalena Holzhey, Adina Kamien-Kazhadan, Karen Koehler, Liz Kotz, Tatyana Vasilevna Kuzmerova, Ulrich Lehmann, Annette Malochet, Marie Rebecchi, Julia Robinson, Gianni Emilio Simonetti, Antonio Somaini, Anne Thurmann-Jajes and Nicholas Fox Weber among others.
360 pages, 524 ills., published by Progetto Prada Arte (Milan, 2012).
Further information and official e-store: http://www.fondazioneprada.com/bookshop/eng/
On the ground floor and the first mezzanine, the exhibition explores the different media in which the boundaries of works dissolve, from artist’s books to magazines, from experimental films to radio. These specific territories are divided into various sections located in different rooms: three are devoted to books and magazines; one examines the history of experimental cinema; one delves into vocal performance, recorded sound and radio; and one is entirely dedicated to artist’s recordings from the 1950s to the 1970s.
The central section of the exhibition, displayed on the second floor and in the second mezzanine, provides a historical overview of the transformation of the idea of uniqueness in art and its perception. This section includes over six hundred objects of design, ceramics, glassware, textiles, toys and editions of artist's originals and multiples. It is an adventure marked by the emergence of new technological realities in which all the principal movements and schools played a part, from Italian Futurism to Russian Constructivism and Bauhaus, from Neoplasticism to Surrealism, reaching—through Nouveaux Réalistes, Op Art and the radical approach of the Fluxus artists — the great explosion of ars multiplicata brought about by Pop Art, promoter of a true “supermarket” of the artistic object.
August 31-September 7, 2012
As part of the exhibition The Small Utopia. Ars Multiplicata the Fondazione Prada organized a series of little Fluxus events to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Fluxus (1962-2012) at the presence of Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, and Fondazione Prada Director Germano Celant.
Pieces by Ay-o, George Brecht, Philip Corner, Al Hansen, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Takehisa Kosugi, Shigeko Kubota, Joe Jones, George Maciunas, Walter Marchetti, Nam June Paik, Ben Patterson, Terry Riley, Tomas Schmit, Mieko Shiomi, Ben Vautier, Robert Watts and La Monte Young were presented, and for the occasion several works by John Cage were reinterpreted in the spirit of this avant-garde: Fontana Mix (1958), Sounds of Venice and Water Walk (1959), Variation III (1962).
Actor Willem Dafoe and movie director Giada Colagrande, movie directors Lucrecia Martel and Massy Tadjedin, movie producer Lita Stantic, the Director of the 13th International Architecture Exhibition, David Chipperfield, Enrico Castellani, Lorenzo Bertelli, artist Francesco Vezzoli, producers Pietro Valsecchi and Camilla Nesbitt, Inge Feltrinelli, Peter Brant Jr. and Harry Brant, TV presenter Victoria Cabello, Lawrence Carrol, Diane Pernet, Shala Monroque, Tristan Boniver from Rotor, Manuela Pavesi, Brandino and Marie Brandolini D’Adda, Luigi Bonotto, Michele Lupi, Stefano and Andrea Rosso, Beppe Modenese, Massimo Minini, Gunther Uecker, Roberto D’Agostino, Maria Luisa Frisa attended the event amongst the others.
Ca' Corner della Regina
curated by Germano Celant
4/06 - 2/10/2011
The first exhibition describes the Foundation’s cultural approach without imposing a single, thematic interpretation of the art and museum materials presented. Each individual installation and presence in the palazzo’s rooms should therefore be considered as examples of the different aspects of the Prada Foundation’s identity since its founding in 1993 by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli as a venue for the promotion of contemporary art. The show features a selection of art works from the collection, a glimpse of future collaborations, and the project for its new, permanent site at Largo Isarco in Milan, designed by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, which includes, at Ca’ Corner della Regina, a series of scale-models of the future exhibition complex, which will open in 2013.
Using the work collected over the years as its starting point, the opening of “Fondazione Prada _ Ca’ Corner dell Regina,” curated by Germano Celant, features a wide range of works and installations created in learned collaboration with such museums as The Hermitage of Saint Petersburg, the Fondazione Musei Civici of Venice, The Mathaf - Arab Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Islamic Art of Doha, and with the creative interpretation of contemporary artists such as Thomas Demand and theorists such as Marco Giusti and Nicholas Cullinan.
Those rooms of Ca’ Corner della Regina, which have been involved in the first phase of conservation, will house the imposing sculptures of Anish Kapoor, Michael Heizer and Jeff Koons. Together they will constitute the entire exhibition space, interspersed with important works by Walter De Maria, John Baldessari, Charles Ray, Tom Friedman, Domenico Gnoli, Damien Hirst, Louise Bourgeois, Blinky Palermo, Bruce Nauman, Pino Pascali, Donald Judd, Francesco Vezzoli and Maurizio Cattelan.
The exhibition documents, through special projects, the ongoing dialogue with international museum institutions, establishing creative exchanges between their collections and the interventions of contemporary artists. For this purpose, Thomas Demand was asked to respond to important materials drawn from the Musei Civici of Venice, just as Jean-Paul Engelen, director of the Public Art Museums of Doha, Qatar, was invited to build a linguistic bridge between a historical artifact from the Museum of Islamic Art and the work of the contemporary artist Buthayna Ali. Similarly, the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg will present some unpublished 18th-century ceramics alongside Jeff Koons’ Fait d’Hiver (1988), while Nicholas Cullinan, curator of International Modern Art for the Tate Modern of London, has been tasked with going through the collection and giving his interpretation of Italian art from 1952 to 1964, a period that includes works by Alberto Burri, Enrico Castellani, Lucio Fontana, Francesco Lo Savio, Piero Manzoni, Salvatore Scarpitta and Mario Schifano.
On this occasion at Ca’ Corner della Regina the encounter of Western and Congolese cultures that led to the construction, in London, of The Double Club by Carsten Höller in 2008, will be represented by unveiling a volume fully documenting this project. The interaction between different arts of motion will be featured in the section curated by Marco Giusti, who relates the films of Todd Solondz with the claymation videos of Nathalie Djurberg.
All in all, an ensemble of presentations and crossovers bearing witness to the fluid interrelationship between modern and contemporary work, the first steps that the Prada Foundation will take into the future.